Revised list of BBB projects ‘cosmetic,’ to make it appear ‘things are moving’ — Drilon
MANILA, Philippines — The government only added new projects in the list of flagship projects under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program so “there can be some cosmetic and so they can say that things are moving,” Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said.
During Thursday’s deliberation on the proposed 2020 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Drilon asked on the revised list of the flagship projects under the administration’s infrastructure program.
The initial list consisted of 75 projects with only nine having commenced actual construction halfway through the term of President Rodrigo Duterte
The revised list now includes 100 projects.
Twenty-eight projects were junked from the initial list due to technical, financial or economic non-viability. Forty-three projects remained in the revised list.
“From 47 out of the original 75, it became 100. Therefore, 53 new projects were added,” Drilon pointed out.
He then asked why the projects that were omitted were even considered in the first place.
“They were proposals in the beginning and after the feasibility study they were no longer pursued but I guess initially they appeared attractive,” Senator Sonny Angara, who defended the budget of the DPWH, said.
Drilon then questioned why projects that are already ongoing, were still included in the revised list.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but my impression of that new list of 53 is that many of these projects, in so far as pertaining to the DPWH is concerned, would be ongoing projects,” he said.
“In other words, these are ongoing projects, in fact, some of them are nearing completion. Hindi naman siguro cosmetics ito ‘no? Para at the end of the administration, we can claim that of the…100 flagship projects, ‘Nabuo namin ang ganitong numero’,” he said.
(In other words, these are ongoing projects, in fact, some of them are nearing completion. It’s not just cosmetics, right? So that at the end of the administration, we can claim that of the…100 flagship projects, ‘We completed this many).
Drilon cited the Boracay Circumferential Road and the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 as examples of already ongoing projects being included in the revised list.
The DPWH, through Angara, responded and said that at the start of the Duterte administration, only eight percent of the Skyway project’s right-of-way had been acquired.
“They pushed it along,” Angara added.
“These are very real projects and they will be making very real contributions,” the senator further said, pertaining to the projects under the revised list.
“We are not disputing that. Indeed it will. We’re just saying that maybe the original 75 flagship projects were not well-thought off or so that we revise them in the middle of the stream,” Drilon then said.
In an interview with reporters after the DPWH budget deliberation, the minority leader said the government just added the 53 projects on the “Build, Build, Build” list just to “say that things are moving.”
“Some of those 53 projects—it was admitted on record—are ongoing projects. So isinama doon sa flagship projects para sabihin siguro at the end of this administration, they can claim na out of 100 flagship projects, so many were done, so they will get good grades,” Drilon said.
“There is nothing wrong with that but, maybe, transparency would be a better standard. Obviously, dinagdag lang yung 53 projects (the 53 projects were added) so that there can be some cosmetic and so they can say that things are moving” he added.
Edited by MUF
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